1796 Osborn & Gunby Officer's Sword variant

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1796 Osborn & Gunby Officer's Sword variant

Postby Rob O'Reilly » Tue May 09, 2017 10:16 pm

Good evening all,

It's been quite awhile since I've had anything useful or interesting to contribute to the group, but I'm hoping I can tap into the collective wisdom of the group to offer me some advice on a new sword enroute to me.

It is a variant on the 1796 LC made by O&G, not the gorgeous style described in Richard's book, but rather another style I've not encountered before. Whereas the blade profile is not dissimilar to a conventional 1796LC, the last 101-2" showed a 'clipped-back' point.

What has also come as a pleasant surprise is that it appears to have the owners initials that I haven't yet deciphered much less researched.

IMG_5272.JPG

initials - 1.jpg


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Re: 1796 Osborn & Gunby Officer's Sword variant

Postby Richard » Wed May 10, 2017 11:14 am

Hi Rob

The initials look like WWS to me but finding who they belonged to is going to be a very hard nut to crack. I would have thought most likely yeomanry - not least because they far outnumber the regular army at that time and also because if it did belong to a regular army regiment, you might expect to see a regimental designation as well.

However, if yeomanry that's a problem. Sword must date post 1808 if its O&G and I only have lists for 1799, 1805 and 1807. The latter two are not indexed either so that's a massive trawl through of 500+ pages in each list.

If regular army, then here's a very small start from the 1810 list:

Capt William Shore, 7LD
Capt William Schreiber, 11LD
Lt Col William Spearman, 21LD
Capt William Sleigh, 23LD
Lt William Spooner, 23LD

The only certainty is that his first name is most likely William!

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Re: 1796 Osborn & Gunby Officer's Sword variant

Postby Rob O'Reilly » Wed May 10, 2017 8:26 pm

Thanks Richard,

I should be receiving the sword by early next week so will examine it more closely and provide a better picture of the initials. What are your thoughts on the blade style itself? Have you encountered other O&G examples with the clipped-back characteristic, yet on a normal style blade?

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Re: 1796 Osborn & Gunby Officer's Sword variant

Postby Bryce » Wed May 10, 2017 8:29 pm

G'day Rob,

Can you post pictures of the whole sword and scabbard?
What is the length of the blade? Is it full length or shortened?

Cheers,

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Re: 1796 Osborn & Gunby Officer's Sword variant

Postby Rob O'Reilly » Wed May 10, 2017 8:56 pm

Bryce,

I believe it to be full length, and unusual in that the fuller appears to run the full blade length. Only pic I have access to at the moment comes off a photo bucket site, so apologies for the quality.

Rob

IMG_5271 copy.JPG
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Re: 1796 Osborn & Gunby Officer's Sword variant

Postby Rob O'Reilly » Tue May 16, 2017 12:54 am

The sword arrived today and I'm happy to report it is full length, however is a diminutive version of the standard 1796 with a blade length of 31 3/4" and a width varying from 1 3/8" to 1 1/4" and less of a curve profile. I would say it is more in line with the early coffin hilts or contemporary pipe-back blades. It has suffered from some aggressive field sharpening, however still retains much of its lovely decorations. Closer examination confirms the later coat-of-arms, GR cypher and the owner's initials of W.W.S.

Given the variation from the design here, coupled with lack of regimental markings I'm inclined to agree with you Richard that the sword is likely yeomanry. Still quite happy with it, as it has a somewhat unique fuller that runs the whole blade length and clipped-back point (something I've not encountered before) and a very handsome officer's scabbard.

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Re: 1796 Osborn & Gunby Officer's Sword variant

Postby Bryce » Tue May 16, 2017 3:10 am

G'day Rob,

Because of its smaller size and I imagine lighter weight, I wouldn't rule out infantry either. Rifle and artillery officers also sometimes carried steel stirrup hilts in metal scabbards. Can you please post a photo of the hilt?

Cheers,

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Re: 1796 Osborn & Gunby Officer's Sword variant

Postby Jonathan » Sun May 21, 2017 3:47 am

It appears to have the same blade as my P1803 Infantry Officer's Sword.
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